My top tip for New Professionals is don’t underestimate how great it is to be newly qualified! While it may feel like others have more experience than you, you also have a really up to date skill set and will have focussed on topics in your qualifications that some members of the profession haven’t trained in for a long time – or even ever! And don’t be afraid to ask questions – the Archives NRA jiscmail is a friendly and supportive place where your colleagues are only too willing to share advice, it’s a very collaborative sector where we’re all willing to discuss mistakes and learn from them which I find utterly wonderful.
It’s not uncommon for new professionals to feel intimidated at work because of our relative inexperience, but it’s really important that we contribute to professional discussions and have the confidence to ask to be involved with projects and work that will diversify our skills. It shows that you are engaged and willing to learn, and the different perspective you bring as someone more recently qualified is likely to be met with a supportive and receptive response from colleagues.
My advice New Professionals is to get stuck in where ever you can – attend free talks, undertaking volunteering, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help. We’re fortunate enough to work in a sector full of supportive individuals who are enthusiastic about their work, and that’s something to be celebrated! I would also add, don’t feel disheartened if your path takes several turns towards your ultimate goal. While some people can go straight into full-time archive work, others may take a longer route. Each journey is unique, and though it can be hard, honour yours as best you can.
Amy Finn – Secretary
Ask for help when you need it and don’t be afraid of being a beginner. There’s lots to learn from others if you ask, but also lots that others can learn from you, whatever background you come from. I came from a retail background and really felt that I had nothing to offer the sector, but on reflection I realise that an inquiring mind and asking questions of established professionals about how and why they do things can actually be really stimulating; I really enjoy people asking me questions like that, and I wish that I hadn’t spent so much time thinking I must be a bother!
Chiara Fallone – Treasurer
I think the single best advice I could give to other new professionals is don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved with the profession, even if you don’t think you have anything to contribute. Everyone started out somewhere and we all have our own experiences, skills and perspectives that can help shape the development of the field in the future!
Daniella Gonzalez – Communications Officer
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Nicole Hartland – Digital Training Officer
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